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Upset Opens Doors Between Institutions in Post School Sector

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Early in May 2023, Tshwane University of Technology launched the UPSET (Unfurling Post School Education and Training (UPSET) Project) Gauteng Articulation Hub, demonstrating TUT’s commitment to fostering relationships and coordinating efforts with partners from Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges (TVET) and other Higher Education Institutions (HEI) to ensure the project’s success. In conjunction with the launch, UPSET and HEIs have signed an agreement to advance articulation opportunities.

Under UPSET, DUT and SAQA are partners in a project funded by DHET. Nine provincial or regional articulation hubs are planned to promote articulation and other collaborations, as well as learning-and-work pathways.

Upset Opens Doors Between Institutions in Post School Sector

“The UPSET Articulation Hub is nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s one of the most innovative and exciting projects in a long time in terms of creating access to post-secondary education and training. According to the Council on Higher Education, UPSET aims to promote articulation and address multiple pathways by which young people engage in learning. In addition to facilitating proper articulation between universities of technology and traditional universities, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Teaching, Learning and Technology at TUT said that articulating skills and learning throughout the PSET sector is crucial.

Upset Opens Doors Between Institutions in Post School Sector

Prof Ben van Wyk, DVC Teaching and Learning with Technology speaking at the launch of the UPSET Gauteng Hub.

This project is well supported and driven by DHET and SAQA at national level, which illustrates the importance of continuously tracking this matter and working together intentionally to improve collaboration. Towards the establishment of the Gauteng Articulation Hub, TUT has agreed to foster cooperation with the project, which aims to establish nine provincial/regional articulation hubs.

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He outlined the three primary focus areas of the Hub

  • Collaboration with partnered TVET colleges to develop institutional articulation implementation plans;
  • Protocols to be established for the joint development of Higher Certificates with selected TVET colleges;
  • Assist transitional articulating students with academic development support where necessary by implementing a tracking system.

“With the launch, TUT formally commits to the MoU to promote articulation in the education sector and support mutually beneficial outcome and experiences.” Prof van Wyk concluded. UPSET Project Leader Darren Lortan explained the importance of the UPSET initiative as he held responsibility for ensuring that the project goals and objectives were met.

A proposal to improve the quality of education in underperforming schools is included in the executive summary of the National Development Plan for South Africa. As Universities of Technology, we focus on training young people for the workplace. However, as we do at DUT and other Universities of Technology, we are also exploring entrepreneurial opportunities,” he stated.

The Unfurling Post School Education and Training (UPSET) Project was launched by Durban University of Technology (DUT) in June 2021. To assist in the implementation of this project, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provided DUT with funding of R7 950 000. The anchor institution of the UPSET Project will manage the UPSET Project on behalf of the DHET and develop Articulation Implementation Plans (AIPs). As part of this, a number of Universities have already developed articulation initiatives with colleges that will all be part of the first cohort of regional hubs to participate. A regional hub and its articulation partners will be responsible for the development of regional implementation plans in collaboration with articulation champions from the partner institutions.”

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From TUT’s Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Professor Joey Jansen Van Vuuren and Dr Bertie Buitendag shared information about the success and impact of the Higher Certificate in Cybercrime, a proposed bridging programme between TUT and TVETs in the region that provides opportunities for articulation. Digital technology has made cyber security increasingly important in modern life, an aspect covered in the course.

DHET trained all TVET NCV lecturers, introducing the Level 2 qualification, with the assistance of the Department of Computer Systems and the Department of Mechatronics. More than 50 college lecturers from across the country attended the training.

There was a central theme in the messages of support provided by Dr Heidi Bolton from SAQA, Thivhudziwi Vele and David Modiba from DHET, and Marco McFarlane from the (QCTO) Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. The project will change the scenarios facing higher education and the TVET sector. To build a more equal society, to address the issues of social mobility, to eradicate poverty, and to emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship.

Digital technology’s potential to drastically change the labour market was also highlighted as an important factor in the project.

To conclude, Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai, the leader of the Gauteng Hub, thanked all stakeholders for participating. My renewed energy to continue moving forward has come from listening to the sector’s passion and enthusiasm for the project. As a result of the discussions that took place during the day, the task team will now be discussing and implementing solutions along with other stakeholders. Students in the PSET sector must have an easy transition,” she added.

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As she pointed out, we need to be intentional in our discussions about broadening access while aligning policies, practices, curriculums, academics and student support so we can help build a strong UPSET Gauteng Hub community, whether through Higher Certificates or other programs. A formal commitment has been made through a Memorandum of Understanding and an articulation plan, which must now be implemented and monitored. “For future initiatives, research on UPSET’s impact on student success and throughput is of paramount importance,” concluded Dr Banoobhai.

Upset Opens Doors Between Institutions in Post School Sector

Dr Mumthaz Banoobhai the Gauteng Hub leader and Senior Director of Higher Education Development and Support, with Prof Darren Lortan, national UPSET Project Leader, during the Gauteng Hub launch.

For more information on the Tshwane University of Technology, please contact Phaphama Tshisikhawe, Corporate Affairs and Marketing.
Tel: +27 12 382 4711   Email: [email protected]

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